The [Written] Challenge

pen paper

This week [4] is a challenge to focus on centering yourself through the written word.

For anyone that has followed The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, they know all about the practice of morning pages.
The premise is that by writing three pages, every single morning, long-hand, it will help you focus, it will bring subconscious thoughts and hidden ideas to the surface. Thoughts that you normally wouldn’t be privy to as your brain likes to screw with you and keep your innermost thoughts, clouded in mystery, even from yourself. (paraphrasing here)

Apparently, the author of Life Makeovers is a fan. Nothing wrong with that.
Apparently, the author’s own personal experience with consistent morning page writings, felt that it; deeply connected her soul to what really matters, her days were consistently oriented around top priorities, synchronistic events occurred as a result, and her eating habits improved.

My experience was not so grand. (More on that in a bit)

The practice itself is a disciplined action which entails getting up in the morning and before doing anything else, you write three full pages, (approx. 750 words), of non-stop, unconditional writing.
Nothing else matters. Not structure, not punctuation, not grammar…just writing. Don’t try to control it. Just write whatever surfaces in your mind.
The only requirements are that they must be done first thing in the morning, and it must be done daily, no exceptions.

As one always looking for ways to change my life, I followed The Artist’s Way.
I took the challenge.

I love to write.
I am always writing something.
I panic if I don’t have a writing implement with me at all times.
Writing is my touchstone for life, my security blanket.

I chased after those morning pages like there was no tomorrow.

I was in such a hurry to alter my life, I would do anything if it meant a better me.

They say it takes 21 days to form a habit. Even longer to break one.

After six months of doing morning pages and hating every.single.minute of it, I decided to stop.
My morning pages had become mourning pages.
It was turning something I dearly loved to do, [writing], into a chore and making me resentful along the way.

I never lacked for things to write about.
Ideas flow to me constantly, hence the need for so many journals, to capture as many of them as I can. All my stories,thoughts, dreams, lists, problems, prayers, gratitudes and platitudes..

Writing is in my nature. But when forced to do this, I was put out, blocked and angry that in order to change my life, I had to sacrifice a cherished pastime to follow someone else’s formula for success.

[*side-note: Throughout the six months of morning writings,
I never felt myself oriented around top priorities.
I never felt synchronistic events as a result.
And my eating NEVER improved]

So I stopped with the morning pages and courted my muse of letters back to me.

To change my life, I would find another way that didn’t include forced writing.

Fast forward a few years, I picked up the Artist’s Way, again, thought maybe I wasn’t ready before but now I am in a different place, I will give morning pages another whirl.

I made it a week before all those awful feeling came rushing back full force, reminding me as to why I had stopped them in the first place.

I am getting better at accepting there are many paths up the mountain and there is no ONE correct way to follow.

I merely need to find the right path for me.

This week’s homework was to start up morning pages and plan to do them for a 30 day trial period.

I will take a pass on this one and continue on keeping up with my ongoing inner work.
Catch you next week.

[Keeping up with my week 2 mantra: Creativity flows easily to me.
Also continued on painting started. Almost finished now.]